A Brief History of the

1st U.S. Volunteer Engineers

 by Patrick McSherry

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The First U.S Volunteer Engineers regiment was raised in northeartern and midatlantic states. The regiment served in Puerto Rico in the period following the signing of the armistice between the U.S. and Spain.

The Regimental History

The regiment was formed by General Orders #68 on June 13, 1898. The headquarters was established at 335 Broadway in New York City. Recruiting stations were established in Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Norfolk. As troops were recruited, they were sent to the rendezvous point at Camp Townsend, near Peekskill, New York.

The men were mustered into service between  June 25 and July 16. At the time of mustering in the regiment had fifty officers and 1,098 enlisted men. On August 5, the regiment was ordered to New York. On August 10, the 1st U.S. Volunteer Engineers departed New York aboard the U.S. Army Transport CHESTER, bound for Ponce, Puerto Rico. While the regiment was enroute, an armistice was declared between the U.S. and Spain ending the war's fighting on August 12. The regment arrived st Ponce on August 15.

The regiment remained in Ponce until November, departing Ponce on November 17 aboard the U.S. Army Transport MINNEWASKA. Sfter arriving on New York on November 24, the regiment was granted a sixty day furlough beginning on November 26. After sixty days, the regiment reformed and was mustered out at New York City on January 25, 1899. The war had ended while the regiment was on furlough with the signing of the Treaty of Paris on December 10, 1898. When it was mustered out, the regiment consisted of forty-four officers,  and 1007 enlisted men. During its service, the regiment lost one officer and seventeen enlisted men ro disease. Additionally, four men deserted the regiment


Clerk of Joint Committee on Printing, The Abridgement of Message from the President of the United States to the Two Houses of Congress. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1899) Vol. 3, 530

Correspondence relating to the War with Spain And Conditions Growing Out of the Same Including the Insurrection in the Philippine Island and the China Relief Expedition. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1902) Vol 2, 624.

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